How the Phillies have completely ruined baseball in the city of Philadelphia
Over past five years, the Philadelphia Phillies have managed to completely hit rock bottom after almost a decade of success. They have gone through four managers, five hitting instructors, and five pitching coaches.
The Phillies haven’t had a winning season since 2011 and any attempt to rebuild the roster since then as failed. Expensive veteran stars such as Jake Arrieta and closer David Robinson were absolute disasters. Jean Segura’s contract hasn’t worked as planned and his name is now brought up in trade talks.
The Phillies are no longer a young team. They have an expensive payroll and a depleted farm system. Matt Klentak (thankfully) stepped down as general manager this offseason. The Phillies now have Andy MacPhail and Ned Rice serving as interim general managers. The duo have plenty of work to do.
The Phillies bullpen was the laughing stock of the MLB and historically bad this past season. The back-half of the starting rotation is filled with question marks. They traded away their only promising pitching prospect for what now seems like 2-years of control on JT Realmuto.
And today, on a Sunday when the Eagles are playing, news broke from ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Phillies will now entertain trade offers for Zack Wheeler. Middleton and MacPhail immediately shut down the report stating that there was “zero truth” to the article but just the fact that it was a possibility is glaring and shows the continued uncertainty around the moves the Phillies continue to make.
Wheeler is a mere one-year into a five year, $118 million dollar deal he signed with the Phillies last winter. At the beginning of last season, the Phillies moved on from Gabe Kapler after yet another frustrating season failing to get above the .500 mark (81-81). The team went out and brought in well-respected Joe Girardi to lead the team as well as Zack Wheeler to be a second ace behind Aaron Nola at the front of the pitching rotation. Wheeler was everything you could hope for, positing a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts.
In an offseason where you would think that the Phillies would spend now to build around key franchise players Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola, Alec Bohm, and even Zach Eflin, the Phillies continue to do the exact opposite under the narrative that the team took massive revenue losses due to COVID-19 and cannot afford to spend any type of money, but rather get rid of any assets they do have to help deal with the financial losses. Even if reports about Wheeler are untrue, the Phillies still need to spend money this offseason.
The bill of goods this team is selling is insulting to the fan base and the entire city of Philadelphia.
The Phillies could spend money. There is certainly money to spend. The $330 million dollar man has been vocal about the Phillies spending money but ownership doesn’t seem willing to do so. This will need to change if the Phillies hope to avoid years of mediocracy in the future. The farm system has been horrendous over the past decade. Almost no prospects have turned into major league talent.
Sure, you can say that Alec Bohm shows the most promise and that Roman Quinn and Scott Kingery still have time to prove themselves, but that’s where the list ends.
Sixto Sanchez was traded. Rhys Hoskins was a 5th rounder that surprisingly developed into a centerpiece of the batting order. Maikel Franco didn’t work. Adam Morgan didn’t work. Mickey Moniak, Jesse Biddle, Tommy Joseph, Ben Lively, Cody Asche, Jonathan Pettibone, and more did not work either.
So where do the Phillies go from here? Are they seriously considering blowing everything up and wasting the prime baseball years of the talent that they do have in Harper, Hoskins, and Nola?
Revenue losses due to COVID-19 is something that every single MLB team is dealing with. It’s not an issue only hurting the Phillies. The Braves have won the NL East the past three seasons and have already made big moves this offseason, signing Drew Smyly and Charlie Morton to their pitching rotation. The Mets signed Trevor May and are still perusing free agent catcher James McCann and possibly George Springer and/or Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer. The Miami Marlins were a playoff team last season and the Nationals won the World Series in 2019.
Not spending money now and going full rebuild won’t help the revenue losses. There’s no possible way the Phillies could even think that getting rid of any hope on this team outside of Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, and Alec Bohm would be a smart way to get fans in seats at Citizens Bank Park.
Enough with the cuts due to revenue losses. The fans aren’t buying it. Revenue will return if you’re willing to spend money now. Unfortunately for anyone who is a fan of Phillies baseball, that’s just not something the front office is willing to do this offseason.
Welcome to mediocracy.